Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review


Peets, whole bean coffee, major dickasons, review, priceFebruary 2, 2018

Why can’t we just say West Coast Roast?  Starbucks and Peet’s get the credit, or blame, for this dark roast thing.  I’m going to coin the term now.  This is a West Coast Roast.  It sort of rhymes too!

A nice mild coffee aroma escapes the bag.  The beans are dark brown and oily, both characteristics of a dark roast. The coffee is bitter in the cup once brewed, but still drinkable black.  This is one of the less bitter, bitter coffees I’ve had.  Aside from the bitterness, this is a milder dark roast with a nice flavor, especially after it has cooled some. So if you’re in a Target, or other large box shop, desperate for coffee, like a bitter coffee that can still be drank black, find this on sale, go for it.

Now for the name, I’m disappointed. The name is what attracted me to the bag.  Because of the name, Major Dickason’s, I was expecting a backstory straight out of a Rudyard Kipling work. But alas, Major seems to have been only a frequent flyer at the first Peet’s store who apparently liked a bitter cup of coffee?

Price $7.99 on sale,  $9.49 regular price – 12 ounce bag


Trader Joe’s – Zimbabwe Small Lot Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


Trader Joe's, Zimbabwe, review, price, whole bean coffeeJanuary 26, 2018

The package lists this as a medium dark roast.  However the coffee looks and drinks more like a medium roast.  This is one of Trader Joe’s better African coffees.  There’s just a touch of bitterness in the coffee.  The bitterness, as well as the body, can be easily adjusted by varying the size of the grind and/or brew time.  For comparison, this is the opposite end of the coffee spectrum from a Starbucks-like coffee. But the problem may be the farm the coffee came from, the New Year’s Gift Estate.  Will it only be available every New Year’s?

Price, $8.99, 12 ounce bag.

Trader Joe’s – Bourbon Barrel Aged Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, aged bourbon barrelDecember 23, 2017

Rolling barrels down the road is one of those things kids do. Rolling barrels down the road with coffee beans in them is not something kids do. That’s just because kids don’t have any coffee beans. Rolling coffee beans in a barrel seems to be the basic mechanism how this coffee was created. Coffee beans are gently rolled around in old empty barrels used for aging bourbon. Well, at least that’s what the package claims.

The coffee itself is fairly good. This is the first Mexico-grown coffee I’ve had, and it’s promising. Now, the flavor added to the coffee from rolling around in an old bourbon barrel is up for personal interpretation. It’s not a particularly bad flavor and it’s not a particularly good flavor. It’s an earthy flavor that’s noticeable, but not obtrusive. Perhaps a real shot of bourbon in the coffee would make it complete?

To follow up on the spiked coffee theme, I made due with what was on hand, adding some O’Donnells Caramel Cream to the coffee.  Ummm, so good!  The little extra flavor from the barrels, the coffee and the “cream” came together in a very smooth cup of holiday joy.  Price, $9.99, 10 ounce can.

Trader Joe’s – Zambia AA Small Lot Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


trader joe, coffee, whole bean, review, price, zambia, AADecember 23, 2017

Here’s another lighter roast coffee from Trader Joe’s.  A nice aroma permeates the air when the bag is first opened.  The beans have a medium brown color indicative of a medium roast.  While brewing in the coffee press, the coffee looks flat.  There are few oils and carbon dioxide bubbles on top of the brew.

This is a smoother cup of coffee than the other TJ lighter roasts reviewed here.  However there’s still some roughness around the finish.  This is a fairly good tasting coffee and drinkable black. Although, considering this is the holidays, I’ve been adding a little Irish cream lately, which as always makes coffee better.  While a better and less bitter lighter roast from Trader Joe’s, this wouldn’t be my choice as an everyday drinker.  If you’re a Starbucks drinker, a couple of weeks with this would be a good pallet cleanse.

One reason to not buy this coffee is the bag.  The bag has one of those small resealable narrow slits on the wide side of the bag near the top making it difficult to reach in to get the beans.  Think of the mouth of a stingray.  Price, $8.99, 12 ounce bag.

Barissmo Organic Honduras Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review – ALDI


ALDI, whole bean coffee, review, price, Honduras, organic, fair trade, reviewALDI, whole bean coffee, review, price, Honduras, organic, fair trade, review11/29/2017
The coffee is not bad, bearable and actually fairly good.  There’s some bitterness in the cup, but not enough to stop drinking.  The bitterness subsides as the coffee cools.  The coffee has a decent body for a medium roast.  On the scale of coffee goodness, this one falls above a McDonald’s or Denny’s coffee and below most Trader Joe’s offerings. The coffee is entirely drinkable black, which is how I review all coffees.

I picked this up because Trader Joe’s Honduran coffee is one of the better coffees I’ve reviewed.  This isn’t as good, but still fairly good, especially for the price.  Coffee plants just might have a thing for Honduras.

If you’re on a budget or just happen to be close to an ALDI when you find your cupboard bare of coffee, this one just might be good for you.  The coffee is labelled fair trade and organic, so it may be good for the farmers and environment also.   Price $4.79

Stringbean Ethiopian True Blue Whole Bean Coffee – Food Review


whole bean coffee, review, price, Ethiopian, True Blue, review, Sting Brean Coffee Company11/29/2017

So far the lighter roasts at Trader Joe have been in general, disappointing.  The beans tend to have some oil on them, which indicates the roast is bordering on the next shade of dark.  But worse than that, the coffees tend to be bitter.  Bitterness is something that’s not supposed to happen with a lighter roast.  So, in a late night supermarket run, and in a moment of weakness towards my checking account balance, I picked up a local roaster’s light-medium roast coffee at an on-sale but still significant price.  The beans were also Ethiopian according to the bag. This was another point of curiosity for me, as I’ve been somewhat disappointed with the African coffee beans at TJ.  So I was able to try another source for African beans.  And don’t forget Ethiopia is the home of the very first coffee beans discovered by man.  Women discovered coffee beans about 362 years earlier, but I’m not going to get into that.


Trader Joe’s Panama Boquete Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


trader joe's, panama boquete whole bean coffee, review, price,November 5, 2017

The first bad sign was the tear-off tab failing while trying to open the bag.  I had to resort to a Kelly clamp to fix that.  The second bad sign was the aroma of slightly burnt coffee beans coming from the bag.  It should be difficult to burn a light-medium roast.  The third bad sign was the aroma of almost tea coming from the cup.  Or maybe it was bouillon?  The fourth bad sign was the weak bitter coffee coming from the cup.

Well I’ve had worse and despite the four bad signs, the coffee is still drinkable.  For those who prefer less body in a coffee, this one’s for you. This coffee reminds me of the recently reviewed Nicaraguan Coffee.  Trader Joe does a really good job with their medium-dark roasts, so far the lighter roasts have generally been not as good.

And Boquete?  Boquete is a small city in Panama in the western coffee growing region.

Price  $8.99 (12 oz bag)

Trader Joe’s – Organic Nicaraguan Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


TJ, trader joe, Nicaraguan Whole Bean Coffee , price, reviewOctober 16, 2017

This coffee is somewhat: weak, bitter and bad tasting.  The negatives go away some on cooling to a slightly sour taste.  While not especially good for a Trader Joe coffee, this is still likely better than some coffees at other supermarkets for the same price.  While taste is a personal preference, and some people may like this coffee more than other coffees, there are better coffees at Trader Joe’s for the same price or less.

The coffee is labeled as organic.  The coffee is packaged in a tall, thin bag which makes it somewhat difficult to get the coffee out, especially near the bottom of the bag.

And if you look at the label this is a “honey processed” coffee.  I guess some things don’t change no matter where people live.  “Oh honey!  Can you go process some coffee for me.  And, take out the trash.”

Price $8.99 (12 ounce bag)

For another take on this coffee, try Become Betty here.

Trader Joe’s – Five Country Espresso Blend Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


trader joes, coffee, whole bean, five country espresso, review, price, fair trade, organicSeptember 23, 2017

Since espresso is a method of making coffee and not a particular coffee bean, the name is slightly misleading.  However, since most coffees, including this one, can be used in espresso machines, we won’t quibble.  And since I don’t have an espresso machine, this coffee was prepared by my usual French press method.

Typically coffee beans meant for espresso machines are dark roasted.  This coffee fits in the Trader Joe’s medium-dark roast category (labeled dark roast on the can).  It produced a nice cup of coffee in my press.  It was largely indistinguishable from my everyday Tarrazu drinker.   Perhaps it was a little more bitter.  Regardless, it should work nicely in an espresso machine if that’s your preference.

For the extra two dollars per can over the Tarrazu, what are we getting?  This coffee is labeled both organic and fair trade.  That could be one reason to spend the extra two dollars.  As for the word espresso on the can, it’s your decision whether this will produce a better espresso shot than your current coffee.   Price $8.99  (13 ounce can)

Trader Joe’s – Low Acid French Roast Coffee – Whole Bean – Food Review


coffee, trader joe's, french roast, low acid, review, whole beanAugust 3, 2017

This might have been the first Trader Joe coffee that made it to the trash bin before the can was empty.  Right now I’m salvaging the coffee by grinding it 50/50 with my everyday Tarrazu coffee.

In the grinder there’s a beautiful aroma when the beans are freshly ground.  If only that could transfer to the brewed coffee.  Once brewed and in the cup, the beans turned into a very bitter cup of coffee.  If bitter is what you’re looking for in a cup of coffee, this one’s for you.  That experience isn’t for me.  A shot of Irish cream or half-and-half subdued the bitterness to tolerable levels.  But even then, there was still something about the coffee that wasn’t fully enjoyable.

As for the low acid claim on the label, without using a pH meter, we’ll just have to trust Trader Joe.  I did not feel any burn at the back of the throat or have any acid reflux problems afterwards.  Your reaction may be different.

The coffee beans are smaller than most. From the color and the small amount of oil on the beans, these are on the light side of a dark roast.  There is no country or region of origin stated for the beans. The beans are labeled 100% Arabica, as are around 80% of coffee beans overall.  Price $7.99 (13 ounce can)

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